DEVGRU operator convicted in catfishing case

Blue Squadron operators brandishing flag - Development Group (Seal Team 6)

The Navy found a DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6) operator guilty of catfishing a woman online. The operator will now spend 30 days in the brig and forfeit $500 from his paycheck for three months ($1,500 total), according to the SOFREP.

A Navy court-martial found Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SO1) Aaron Howard guilty of trying to elicit nude pictures from a woman while posing as another person. The operator from the elite special operations forces unit will also be demoted to the rank of Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class. And at the end, he will most probably lose his Navy SEAL Trident and lose his place at DEVGRU.

According to the Navy Times, the prosecution requested a prison sentence of 18 months and that SO1 Howard be kicked out of the Navy with a dishonorable discharge, even though they couldn’t provide any nude pictures that would incriminate SO1 Howard.

Article 134 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)

He was charged with violating Article 134 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The article is concerned with:

“all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses, not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.”

The original accusations against the SEAL Team 6 operator stated that he posed as two different persons online to lure three women (two civilians and one Navy enlisted Sailor) to send him nude pictures. The jury, however, found SO1 Howard innocent of the above charges (indecent conduct).

The trial lasted for four days and took place at Naval Station Norfolk. More details available at the SOFREP.